The Inland Revenue Board (IRB) has been monitoring social media and bank accounts of people who have unexplained and extraordinary wealth, especially those in possession of large amount of cash, luxury cars, jewellery and property.

IRB chief executive officer Datuk Seri Sabin Samitah said it has set up a taskforce since September 2018 to look into taxpayers who seemed to have unexplained extraordinary wealth.

“We have been monitoring the social media and selected bank accounts. Basically, we are looking into those who neglected or may have under-declared their income in their filings with us,” Sabin told reporters here after officiating at a dialogue on special voluntary disclosure programme (SDVP) organised by KPMG Malaysia.

The IRB’s SVDP, which took effect from November 3 last year, provides an opportunity for taxpayers to voluntarily come forward in declaring any unreported income, including offshore accounts.

Malaysia is a participant of the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) common reporting standards. This means IRB would receive automatic exchange of financial account information (of non-resident persons) from other participating countries.

Under this eight-month SDVP ending June this year, Sabin said his team had promised confidentiality and lenient penalty to taxpayers who may have misreported their tax filings or did not declare their income.

“Please come clean with your income declaration. We will assure taxpayers confidentiality, under the SDVP, as they come forward to pay up the tax amount owing to the government,” Sabin said.

If the disclosure of unreported income is made from November 3 2018 until March 31 2019, the penalty would be 10 per cent of the tax payable. If the disclosure is made from April 1 to June 30, the penalty would be 15 per cent of the tax payable.

After the programme expires on June 30, he said the penalty rates would range from 80 per cent to the maximum of 300 per cent, as provided for under the existing tax laws.

Last week, Sabin reportedly said his team was expected to collect RM10 billion under the SDVP, from at least one million taxpayers who may have misreported their tax filings or did not declare their income.

Also present at the press conference were Datuk Ooi Kok Seng, who is a special officer to Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng and KPMG Malaysia executive director Soh Lian Seng.

Last August, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng announced the previous Barisan Nasional government had not refunded RM16.05 billion in excess of income tax and real property gains tax to taxpayers – with some being owed these refunds for the last six years.

Lim, at the tabling of 2019 Budget in Parliament, announced a one-off special dividend of RM30 billion from Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) that will go towards the refund of Goods and Services Tax, income tax and real property gains tax of RM37 billion.

When asked on the status of overdue tax refunds, Ooi said the Finance Ministry was in discussion with Petronas.

“As of now, the Finance Ministry has yet to receive the money from Petronas. Once we receive the sum, I assure you the relevant agencies will expedite the refunds as soon as possible,” Ooi added.

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